Saturday, March 22, 2014

guilt-free gluten-free spaghetti & meatballs

This version of spaghetti and meatballs is better than the original for a couple of reasons! Not only is it easy to make, it's gluten-free and its healthier than the traditional version.  I know, I know - usually those things would mean 'not-as-good,' but even I was surprised how well this turned out!  

I really love a good heaping bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, but it poses a few problems for me:

1. I find it hard to serve a vegetable "along with" spaghetti.  The pasta fits so nicely in it's own bowl, so where do you put the vegetable?

2. I try to limit how often we have red meat so I usually save our red meat quota for a nice juicy steak.  Plus, the veal/pork/whatever the third meat in the meatball trifecta is supposed to be makes me feel sad - I'm a meat eater, but baby-anything is hard for me to get down

3. Gluten-free pasta can be annoying to prepare.  If anyone ever thought it was difficult to make "regular" pasta, I say "wah!" - because it's a cinch compared to making gfree pasta. 

So, this is how I fixed those problems:


1. I put the vegetable inside of the meatballs! Cauliflower meatballs...let me see you tootsie roll (I kept singing that to the beat of the Tootsie-Roll song that I used to jam out to at high school dances...and still today in my living room.) I used finely chopped cauliflower in place of bread crumbs, just a 1 for 1 exchange - gluten-free and better for you.  The cauliflower adds nutrition and moisture to the meatballs, plus a slight hint of fart to the kitchen which will keep your guests on their toes and out of your way :)

2. I used ground turkey which cuts a ton of the fat and calories (and i just baked them: saved the calories from pan-frying first, plus less dishes & less mess/clean-up!)

3. I use corn pasta - if you don't do corn you can substitute brown rice or whatever pasta you like, but I've found that corn pasta is the easiest to work with and provides the best "al dente" mouthfeel (that word makes me feel uncomfortable!). 

As you can see, I didn't use fancy ingredients.  I'm sure I'm committing some type of sin for not using a special cheese blend or something, but I used ingredients that I already had on hand at my house. Most nights what I make for dinner is based on a restaurant commercial I saw on TV that makes me angry hungry at which point I don't have the time or patience to get the 'right' ingredients. 

Angry Hungry:  when you see something that looks so good, but you can't have it - so now you are both hungry and angry.

So there you have it, guilt-free spaghetti and meatballs! Try it out, first, before you judge...if you still hate it after you've tried it, well, then that stinks :)


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